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Cowes Embarks on Global Racing Adventure with Retro Yachts


Sep 10, 2023

Two hundred sailors in retro yachts are embarking on an eight-month race around the world. The Ocean Globe Race, which started from the Isle of Wight, features 14 yachts equipped with no computers, GPS, or other modern technology. Instead, the crews will navigate the 27,000-mile journey using sextants. The race will begin from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line in Cowes and the first stop will be Cape Town in South Africa. The boats participating in the race must be built before 1988 and even the music onboard is limited to cassette tape players.

Don McIntyre, the founder and director of the Ocean Globe Race, describes the race as “an epic challenge” and “a unique human adventure.” He also emphasizes that the handicap system means that even the smallest boat could win. One of the British entries in the race is the Maiden, a yacht that history was made with in 1990 when its all-female crew became the first to sail the Whitbread Race, coming in second overall in their class. The restored 58ft (17m) yacht now has a new female team and skipper, Heather Thomas, who hopes to inspire other women with their journey.

This race commemorates 50 years since the first Whitbread round-the-world race, which served as the precursor to the Ocean Globe Race. Spectators can choose to witness the start of the race from viewpoints such as the beaches in Gurnard, Isle of Wight, or Lepe Beach in the New Forest.

By Editor

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